26 Music Videos Starring Actors From “The Wire”

Because they’re EVERYWHERE.

1. Wood Harris (aka Avon Barksdale) plays a convict who is released back into the free world in Rick Ross’ “Thug Cry.”

Maybach/Def Jam



2. Idris Elba (aka Stringer Bell) played a rapping lover in Fat Joe’s video for “All I Need”.


3. A man of many talents, he also directed and starred in Mumford & Sons’ video for “Lover of the Light.”

He plays a blind man who forgets his walking stick as he leaves home, and explores the world outside on his own.

4. And he played a smoking hot delivery guy in Angie Stone’s “I Wanna Thank You” video.

But Idris ALSO has his own music career going.

5. Here he is as King Driis, on his reggae-influenced song, “Hold On.”

6. And as just “Driis” on this loungey, dreamy, 9th Wonder-produced song called “Private Garden.”

7. The one and only Michael K. Williams (aka OMAR mufuckin’ LITTLE) stars in MGMT’s video for “Cool Song No. 2.”



In it, he plays yet another mysterious badass with a male love interest.

Williams plays “The Plant Hunter,” in the psychedelic video. His lover, “Tree,” is slowly mutating into a plant, thanks to the genetically-engineered plants that Williams processes into “euphoria-inducing drugs.” ~VERY VERY TRIPPY~

8. AND he plays policeman James in R. Kelly’s Trapped In The Closet saga.


You can also see him in the Game’s videos for “Dreams,” and “How We Do.”

9. Before acting, Williams got his start as a dancer in videos like Madonna’s “Secret.”

He toured with Madge, as well as dancing on tour with George Michael and working with Tupac!

10. Anwan Glover (aka Slim Charles) appears in Wale’s “Chillin’” video, hanging out at Ben’s Chili Bowl.




He also appeared in the video for Boyz N Da Hood’s “Dem Boyz.”

Check him out at the 2:00 mark.

Also, this may be Lady Gaga’s least-charismatic music video appearance ever?

11. Gbenga Akinnagbe (aka Chris Partlow) starred in his cousin Wale’s 2008 video for “Artistic Integrity,” where he plays a nerd drunk on power.


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Throw. Back.

12. Mya stalks the hell out of Hassan Johnson (aka Wee-Bey Brice) in her video for “Fallen.”




Super creepy Mya. Super. Creepy.

13. Chad Coleman (aka Dennis “Cutty” Wise) stars in Raphael Saadqi’s “Good Man.”




As a good man in really bad circumstances.

A lot like Cutty, no?

14. Felicia “Snoop” Pearson spits a few bars in Tony Yayo’s “It’s A Stick-Up”.


15. A whole SLEW of Wire actors appear in Nas’ “Be A N****r Too.”

Video available at:

Gbenga Akinnagbe (aka Chris Partlow) shows up on screen at 5:13.

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Larry Gilliard Jr. (aka D’Angelo Barksdale) shows up at 2:34.


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Andre Royo (aka Bubbles) shows up at 3:27


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Alfonso Christian Lover (aka Old Face Andre) turns up at 4:50.

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16. Dominic West (aka Jimmy McNulty) pops up at the end of UK band The Feeling’s album preview video, in which he plays their snappy manager.




17. Clarke Peters (aka Lester Freamon) chats up the ladies and has a grand old time at a pool party in Wiley’s “You Know The Words.”


Parlophone/Warner Bros.


Seriously. I wanna party with Clarke Peters.

18. J.D. Williams (aka Bodie) appears alongside Jamie-Lynn Sigler to play Mariah’s parents…




… in her video for “Through The Rain.”

19. Tristan Wilds (aka Michael Lee) appears in Busta’s epic “Thank You” video



20. But he’s ALSO a successful – Grammy-nominated! – recording artist on his own, going by his nickname, Mack Wilds.

In addition to “Own It,” check out his videos for “Henny,” “My Crib,” and “Remember The Time.”

21. Michael B. Jordan (aka sweet, sweet Wallace) plays the new boyfriend of a lady still pining for her old boyfriend in Pleasure P’s “Did You Wrong” video.




Okay, but seriously, Michael B. Jordan’s characters get screwed over the most.


22. And did you know that Maestro Harrell (aka Randy Wagstaff) is now an EDM producer and DJ?!?


It’s true.


23. And, um, Jermaine Crawford (aka Dukie Weems) is ALL GROWN UP…



… in his first music video, for a song called “Janet.”

Off his 2013 EP, Underdog.

24. The great Steve Earle played recovering drug addict and counselor Walon, who tried to help Bubbles stay on track.

Kevin Winter / Getty


Here’s his 1985 hit, “Guitar Town”:

25. Method Man (aka Cheese Wagstaff), of course, is part of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan.


Loud Records


Check out the vid for his eponymous track.

26. And, of course, Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band played Roman, a community basketball coach who helped Cutty set up his gym.

RIP, Big Man.

The Wire cast is HUGE and they’ve done a ton of work in the years since the show ended. Add any favorite videos we may have missed in the comments!

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